Scamp furnace too big - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Name: Larry
Trailer: 2010 13 ft Scamp
Michigan
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Scamp furnace too big

We bought a new 13' Scamp last year, 2010, with the standard 16,000 BTU furnace. We camped in temperatures that got down to ~ 32 degrees F. The furnace worked fine, but the temperature swings were from too hot to too cold. On another similar night, we had A/C available, and used a little 5,000 BTU Ceramic heater, and the temperature was nice and uniform.

So it appears the furnace is way too big for this size camper in this range of temperatures. I wish there could be some way of having variable capacities on this furnace. Even a "high" and "low" output would be a vast improvement.

Any ideas out there ?

Larry
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:13 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2009 Scamp 16 ft / 2003 Durango
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Some people have put spacers under the thermostat and some people have installed a digital thermostat.

Bill K


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Originally Posted by Larry Singer View Post
We bought a new 13' Scamp last year, 2010, with the standard 16,000 BTU furnace. We camped in temperatures that got down to ~ 32 degrees F. The furnace worked fine, but the temperature swings were from too hot to too cold. On another similar night, we had A/C available, and used a little 5,000 BTU Ceramic heater, and the temperature was nice and uniform.

So it appears the furnace is way too big for this size camper in this range of temperatures. I wish there could be some way of having variable capacities on this furnace. Even a "high" and "low" output would be a vast improvement.

Any ideas out there ?

Larry
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Name: Ken
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Sometimes the thermostat is on a outside wall or by a window, even with the window closed it can be a cool area. It can trick the thermostat
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:27 AM   #4
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Most thermostats have an adjustment that regulates how much the temp has to drop before it comes on, sounds like you need to narrow the temp and turn the thermostat down a bit. It might also help to have a small, possibly 12 v, fan running to circulate air.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Larry,

Your view of the furnace is probably correct. It's either on full bore or off full. There's simply no soft continuous source of heat, exactly what an electric heater provides and a relatively poorly insulated trailer requires for real comfort.

It's true that adjusting the recycle differential will reduce the temperature swings but that will just increase the on/off rate of your heater, something we find unsatisfactory.

There's no doubt that something better than the noisy propane furnace is needed in the market.

Norm
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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Larry,

I was just reading another post by CPAHarley on this forum and he mentioned he uses a Wave III furnace. It is a catalytic heater that runs continuously to provide heat.

You may want to contact him and see what he thinks about his heater. I suspect it will meet your needs better than the standard heater. This is a link to the heater.

Norm

RV Heater Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Safety Heater by US Catalytic
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:21 AM   #7
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Larry, Sorry to post three in a row but I became interested in this furnace and went to Amazon where you can find user reviews of products. I usually start with the low ratings to find out what people don't like. Though it appears that this heater works well, there are precautions that need to be taken.

Here's the Amazon site and reviews for this product.

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Camco 57331 Olympian RV Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic Heater
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:51 PM   #8
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Name: Larry
Trailer: 2010 13 ft Scamp
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Larry, Sorry to post three in a row but I became interested in this furnace and went to Amazon where you can find user reviews of products. I usually start with the low ratings to find out what people don't like. Though it appears that this heater works well, there are precautions that need to be taken.

Here's the Amazon site and reviews for this product.

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Camco 57331 Olympian RV Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic Heater
Thanks very much for your reply. I've used a catalytic heater in a tent in my earlier days. This may be just what I need now. I can't be the only one that has this "complaint".

The real issue is matching the capacity of the heat source, in BTUs, to the capacity of the heat loss, in BTUs. For a perfect match, the heater would be on constantly (never cycle), but would take a long time to reach desired temperature. Then you have to factor in the range of temperature differential (outside temperature range vs desired inside temperature). And as you correctly stated, the lower the amount of temperature swing (hysteresis), the higher amount of furnace cycling.

I think the bottom line here is that for extremely low outside temperatures, perhaps 16,000 BTUs are necessary. But for lower outside temperatures, 5,000 BTUs seems more than adequate. So the solution SHOULD be a furnace with an adjustable output. This would result in much less temperature swings, and acceptable furnace cycling frequency. If manufacturers would use their own products, I think you'd see vast improvements.

My opinion.

Larry
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:17 PM   #9
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I had a Lance trailer that had a Lance truck camper heater in it. It is an Atwood dual speed and dual output heater, 7,000 to 22,000 BTU. It would come on high and then cut back to low and remain there, cycling off and on. It also had a digital thermostat that also controlled the 6 speed a/c. It was a wonderful set up. So there are companies making improvements we need to let the manufacturers know our wants.
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